The best time to play powerful catch ball

Now is the best time to play catch ball. For those who haven't played it before it will make you discover how to bridge strategy definition to strategy execution. But there's more advantages to play catch ball as you can read below.

Play catch ball

What is the catch ball method?

Catch ball method is a disciplined multi-level planning methodology used to throw ideas around. It involves employees at all organisational levels contributing value to the plan based on their experience and data analysis.

How does catch ball work for strategy deployment?

On one page, executives identify where the organization is today, and where they want to be in 12 to 24 months. They also identify the problems they need to solve to get there. Then they show it to leaders 2 to 3 levels below and ask them questions. Are we on the right track? And if not, what did we miss and what challenges are there? This is called play catch ball, like two groups tossing a ball back and forth. Senior executives focus on where the company is heading and where are the gaps? Those who implement the plan must focus on how to get there.

Why is playing catch ball so powerful?

It is a lean tool that adds intention and thoughtfulness to the process. Most organisations dictate strategy top-down but catch ball changes that dynamic. Here, strategies and objectives are typically top-down, with input from lower levels of management via catch ball. The tactics and opportunities for improvement are more likely to be bottom-up. However, managers and leaders also provide feedback. As a consensus process, play catch ball improves communication, speeds improvement, and fosters operational excellence.

What are the rules to play catch ball?

Each organisation will slightly adapt the concept of play catch ball to its particularities. But it is best to observe at least the following rules:

  • Every participant in the improvement process is a player who should hold the ball at least once
  • Before passing the ball, players must have the time to study the plan, collect data, and formulate feedback
  • We welcome all ideas and suggestions and value all opinions
  • The player who holds the ball accepts ownership and responsibility

What are the benefits of using the play catch ball process?

  • Employee feedback and ideas at all levels make the resulting plan more feasible.
  • The plan is supported by employees because they helped formulate it and had the opportunity to offer alternative and diverse perspectives.
  • The plan was challenged and improved until agreement was reached, setting the stage for cross-functional collaboration.
  • At each iteration of the catch-ball process, the goals and objectives were clarified in conjunction with the strategy.
  • The outcome of the process is the clear identification of ownership and responsibility
  • As employees develop collaboration and problem-solving skills, it promotes their personal growth

When else do you use the catch ball process?

Using catch ball is an excellent way to gather information and promote discussion about any improvements. It’s ideal for initiatives that include multiple departments, roles, or processes because it lets everyone contribute without interruption. Someone initiates the project by communicating the goals and objectives as well as other ideas and concerns. Stakeholders receive this information, for their feedback and support. When play catch ball is used, things go more smoothly.


Why not try to play catch ball? Now is the right time